BE, KNOW, DO – U.S. Army Leadership Framework Applied to Leaders of the COVID-19 Crisis and Candidates for Office.

BE, KNOW, DO – U.S. Army Leadership Framework Applied to Leaders of the COVID-19 Crisis and Candidates for Office.

Hon. Nikki J. Moreschi 4/11/20

My practice in law and in life involves a regular application of the Army leadership framework, BE, KNOW, DO—that is, character, competence, and action. In the current health care, economic and financial crisis, the BE, KNOW, DO framework can give both leaders and individuals guidance for managing the wide-scope humanitarian crisis impacting the citizens of Warren county and beyond.

BE, KNOW, DO clearly and concisely state the characteristics of a leader. Leader actions are the DO of BE, KNOW, DO. Leadership is about taking action, but there’s more to being a leader than just what you do. Character and competence, the BE and the KNOW, underlie everything a leader does. So becoming a leader involves developing all aspects of oneself. This includes adopting and living values. It means developing the attributes and learning the skills of a leader. Only by this self-development does one become a confident and competent leader of character.


Character describes a person’s inner strength, the BE of BE, KNOW, DO. Character helps you know what is right; more than that, it links that knowledge to action. Character gives you the courage to do what is right regardless of the circumstances or the consequences.

Character is demonstrated through behavior. The old saying that actions speak louder than words applies here. Leaders who talk about honor, loyalty, and selfless public service but do not live these values—both in public and in private life—send the wrong message, that this “values stuff” is all just talk.

In the present COVID-19 crisis, the essence of BE of good character is demonstrated in our commitment to social distancing, abiding by the stay- home mandate and engaging in selfless public service through donations, volunteering and education.


A leader must have a certain level of knowledge to be competent. That knowledge is spread across four skill domains. They must develop interpersonal skills, knowledge of people and how to work with them. For example, as a member of the Judiciary, I must have a complete understanding of the role of the public in that they are the ultimate end-user of our court system – the reason our courts exist, the attorneys, law enforcement, probation, service providers, community action agencies, court staff and court officers. I must have conceptual skills, the ability to understand and apply the

doctrine and of law to particular circumstances of the case. I must have technical skills I must know how to use Administrative Rules, Court Rules, Procedural Laws and Rules of Evidence. I must also master tactical skills, the ability to make the right decisions from the Bench concerning the issues before you.

Mastery of different skills in these domains is essential to success. Law school teaches basic job skills, but they are only part of the learning picture. One can really only learn the practice of law and judicial competency by actually practicing law and sitting on the Bench. It is impossible to master the skill set of a leader by sitting on the sidelines. An attorney that lacks experience representing clients in the courtroom is ill prepared to act as a Judge presiding over cases that he or she has no personal experience in presenting. An attorney that lacks judicial experience actually sitting as a judge presiding over cases is ill prepared to competently rule from the Bench. An attorney that lacks both experience representing clients in the courtroom and judicial experience simply does not possess the requisite skill set to be a member of the judiciary.

In the present COVID-19 crisis, the essence of KNOW requires leaders to use their interpersonal skills, their knowledge of the community, the various offices of both State and County government as well as the role of the federal government, and how to work with all of the entities to achieve the goal of keeping the community safe and minimizing the spread while taking into consideration the immediate and future fiscal and economic impact on out County from such decisions. The County would have been ill served had we not had leaders with experience addressing these critical issues with proficiency and efficiency.


Last but not least, moral excellence is demanded of every leader. The mission or the DO must be accomplished with character.

To the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America —thank you. Your calling is a high one—to be the defenders of freedom and the guarantors of liberty”.

– George Bush, 41st President of the United States.

The Judiciary represents an independent, unbiased branch of our government and it must remain such to be effective. The calling is a high one and not unlike the members of the military, the members of the judiciary are also defenders of freedom and guarantors of liberty as so eloquently stated by President George Bush.

During these highly charged times we find ourselves, I urge members of Warren County to carefully scrutinize those running for public office. During the COVID-19 crisis, if leaders are seen as favoring certain entities to the exclusion of others or manipulating the crisis for their own personal political gain, then the public will lose faith in our system. If the public becomes faithless in their leaders, the will not feel safe. Fear and paranoia will prevail to the detriment of all of society. This we cannot have.